Covid-19: Six Warriors players withdrawn from opening round

A cleaning sanitiser bottle lies next to some some balls in the outfield during a net session Getty Images

South African cricket resumed after almost seven months of inaction due to the coronavirus pandemic but Covid-19 has made its effects felt immediately. The Eastern-Cape based Warriors had to withdraw six members of their squad from their opening fixture against the Knights at the Mangaung Oval, after two players tested positive and four others were in direct contact with them.

The players were tested last Thursday, before the Warriors squad traveled to Bloemfontein, and no other players came into contact with the six.

As a result, the Warriors have had to apply to CSA for an exemption because they have missed the transformation target for this round. The Warriors had to take the field against the Knights with only five players of colour, including two black Africans, instead of the stipulated six players of colour, including three black Africans. They have asked the body to be lenient in exceptional circumstances.

However, they were shown none of the same by the Knights' opening batsmen, who put the Warriors attack to the sword. Jacques Snyman became the first batsman in decade to score a century before lunch in a franchise four-day game - a feat last achieved by Rilee Rossouw in 2010 - and was eventually run out for 109. Snyman shared a 164-run opening stand with Matthew Kleinveldt, who was dismissed for 73.